Product Reviews - a guide for shopping
Cradle 2 Kindy Parenting Solutions has a guide list for several products that we as professionals recommend. Some of these recommendations also come through various sources which also includes preferences from clients and recognised health services.
This is only a guide, and does not have all baby care products listed. There are some baby care products you can purchase through Our Shop and others which have links through to their websites.
Here are a list of categorised for your convenience.
Medical needs for Mother and Baby
- Thermometer: digital thermometers are our recommendation
- Medical dispenser: a 5 ml syringe found at the pharmacy (eg Mansfield oral medication dropper)
- Nipple cream: Weleda nipple cream, Lansinoh. Preferred by many clients.
- Hydrogel Breast discs RITE AID and MothersMates to help sooth cracked and sore nipples.
- Breast pads: Pigeon Premium
- Dummies/pacifier: not recommended unless you have a reflux baby the Happy Baby/Happy Day CHERRY (Australian product) or Tommee Tippee CHERRY are the best for staying in.
- Teething: Brauer's teething relief, Weleda baby teething powder or Bonjella gel
- Medication for constipation Duphalac and Infants Friend which is also good for wind.
- Baby acne or skin irritations: Derm Aid skin 5% or Hopes Relief - Eczema, Psoriasis, Dermatitis and itchy dry skin.
- Information on Breastfeeding and Alcohol - milkscreen
- Bassinettes are not necessary as a cot is sufficient or use the bassinette off the pram.
- Cots: 2 in one - look for the larger cots as some smaller fancy cots are not suitable for large toddlers. Avoid those with fixed bases as they are often very low, not good for your back especially if you need to settle your baby. Choose a cot that you can drop the side for easy access especially when your child is older and heavier making lifting over a fixed side difficult.
- New cot mattress - check that the gaps between mattress and cot sides. Snuggle bed or Ti-Tree mattress are not recommended. Read How to avoid flat spots on your baby's head .
- Cot mobiles should be avoided as a cot is a place to sleep not a play pen.
- Nursery monitor - note some have a delayed sound response which is quite annoying. Parent's recommendation - Oregon Scientific has temperature, humidity, time and ability to talk to your child over the monitor. Monitors with vision -I have the Swan or Rinoco 'night hawk' wireless surveillance camera but client's have recommended Motorola MBP36 which has a lot more features see review.
- Breathing or movement monitor: not necessary unless you have a family history of sleep apnea.
- Cot wedge is recommended for reflux a baby (a Safe T Sleep should also be used to ensure baby's safety). Our Cot Wedge is specifically made for babies and can be bought through Our Shop.
- Safe T Sleep a great invention to assist reflux babies and to prevent baby from rolling on their tummy. These can be bought through Our Shop.
- Settling CD: we recommend our Sleep Solutions sounds for sleeping made here in Sydney. Tell us more about the Sleep Solutions CD. See link for more information or you can purchase the CD from Our Shop.
- Change Table: look for a chest of draws that is your height and place a change mat on top.
- Change mat: anything with raised sides or for reflux babies we recommend an elevated mat.
- Warning: it is not recommended to use bumpers, pillows or quits with small babies.
- Nappy disposal unit or bin: parent's popular choice is the Tommee Tippee.
- Baby wraps: of course we recommend Sleep Sweet & Platypup - good quality large wraps which will outlast your baby's need to be wrapped and can be used as cot sheets. You can purchase these from Our Shop.
- Sleeping bags: are great for older babies. We recommend wrapping babies till around 9-10 months or when they have begun to roll. Look for light weight for hot summers, grobags are great for cooler weather or air conditioned rooms as they are made for the UK climate as is their grobag egg. Here is a helpful link for suggestions on how to transition out of a wrap to a sleeping bag.
- Socks are preferred over booties (but don't tell our grandmother this if she is knitting you some, ask if she can knit you a cardigan instead). Now you can buy Sock Ons which go over the socks or booties that will keep them on.
- Play mat: something with movable arches so you can make it suitable for baby's tummy time. Avoid those with a well padded/quilted base these are dangerous for tummy time. Our preference Tiny Love. Read How important is tummy time for your baby.
- Bouncinette, rockers, walkers, jumpers, activity centres and swings: avoid as they do not encourage the correct development for academic learning.
- Black and white toys: for under 2 months old.
- Foot or wrist rattles: are a gimmick.
- Bright soft and hard toys, rattles, books: excellent
- Play pen is ideal for parents with and older child or pets as it keeps the little one safe. Recommendations: Kiddy Cot Wooden Play Pen.
- Bath: choose a flat bottomed bath they out lasts the others as baby soon doesn't fit in a bath with the support structure. Our choice is the Delux Bath Alfa with or without a stand.
- Bath supports: not recommended as they can be dangerous and hinder free flow which helps baby to become confident in water.
- Bath towels: a normal adults bath towel.
- Bath thermometer: a great idea
- Bath wash: QV or Alpha Keri are our preference, they also have bath oil for babe's with dry skin.
- Non-slip bath mat for older children in the big bath.
- Plastic shower hose: great to fill the bath or wash your baby's hair.
- Please do not use mobiles or have toys of any kind in the cot. The cot is not a playpen it is a place of sleep.
- Night lights are not recommended for children over 3 months. Please read our article A Night Light in Your Baby's Room May Cause a Problem Later
- To help with early rising use a timer purchased from a hardware store or a Wemo electrical plug with AP and a lamp with low watt bulb. See our article on A Solution for Children Who Wake Early
- Night Cameras - client's have recommended Motorola MBP36 which has many features including night vision and zoom: see review.
Breast & Bottle
- Breastfeeding pillow: this is a personal choice as ever mother's breast size and height from breast to baby differs. It is best to sit down and test the pillow on your lap, make sure the pillow is lower than your breasts's (remember your breasts may become quite large when breastfeeding). Baby should rest comfortably on the pillow at breast height not above or to far below. Suggested brands: My Breast Friend, The Milkbar, Outdoor baby Twin feeding Pillow.
- Breast pump: we recommend Medela mini electric or Avent manual.
- Nipple shield - Medela or Avent but be warned if used on a continual basis you can lose your supply and or baby may refuse to go on the breast without it.
- Sterilising system: parents recommendations - Avent electrical or microwave steriliser. Sterilising is not recommended, unless baby has and infection, as it is thought that this may contribute to the allergy problem.
- Bottle warmers are not necessary - use a microwave to heat the water before adding powder (never heat milk in the microwave). Warm breastmilk in a jug of hot water.
- Bottles: Pigeon or Medela, Weil Baby Bottles or Avent Newborn slow flow. Check all bottles for the BPA. BPA is a chemical found in some plastic food and drink packaging including baby bottles and may be tied to early puberty and prostate and breast cancer. Glass bottles are not safe if you have a toddler of young child. Weil Baby Bottle and The Smart Baby bottles are BPA free. Weil Baby Bottles are also Toxin Free and have a unique New AirWave which helps with air flow.
- Teats: Pigeon peristaltic teats are slower and a better shape than other types and also fit the Avent bottles. The new Avent Natural teats is a better shape and slower than the traditional Avent teats. Medela are slower teats than most so if your child is a fast drinker try the slow flow Medela tear or the Medela Calma. If you are breastfeeding and need to use a bottle try the SpecialNeeds Feeder or Haberman feeder. The harder the baby finds it to feed from the bottle the less likely he/she will prefer the bottle over the breast.
- Dummies/pacifier: not recommended but if you have a reflux baby the 'cherry' shape Happy Baby or Happy Day are the best for staying in and are Australian products.
- For breastfeeding mothers who have an oversupply or need to reduce their supply try sage tablets.
- Breastfeeding mothers trying to increase their supply through natural means fenugreek tea may assist also Weleda Nursing Tea.
- Nipple cream: Weleda nipple cream, Lansinoh. Preferred by many clients.
- Highchair: first choice is Ikea as they are easy to clean, StokkeTripp Trapp or a cheaper version Jolly 'Baby Bear' High Chair, can be used till adulthood. Rocker or pram can be use till baby is able to sit unsupported.
- Portable Highchair: Totseat packs away in your bag, travel highchair, light weight and washable. Also available in Aust.
- Cups: with straws or spouts are great to begin with but be aware that those with a valve to prevent seepage need to be thoroughly cleaned and aired as they can become mouldy. Rinse occasionally with white vinegar will help prevent this. Tip: remove the valve when first teaching your baby to drink and very cautiously drip the fluid into his/her mouth. Once baby knows there is liquid in the cup replace the valve and he/she will then begin to suck on the spout.
- Books: An excellent book on understanding how food affects your children 'Fed Up' by Sue Dengate, for children with allergies and food intolerance's try 'Friendly Foods" put out by the Royal Prince Alfred Hosp Allergy Unit.
- Sling or pouch: neither is recommended for small babies when sleeping.
- Pram: look for light weight, large wheels as these are easily manoeuvred around rough terrain including city pavements.
- Light weight pusher/stroller: ideal for shopping centres.
- Rain covers and sunshade: choose dark colours, white wraps cause glare and are detrimental to babies eyes. Dark coloured Platypup baby wraps are ideal and the perfect size. You can purchase these from Our Shop.
- Baby bags: that's your own personal choice.
- Window sun protector/sock: for car windows are a good idea.
- Protection for your car seat when toilet training - try the Brolly Sheets Chair pads, great for car seats, highchairs and regular household furniture,
protecting them against minor leaks. Find out more
- Face washer: try madii&dyl it is a lovely soft chamois ideal for cleaning babies faces.
- Play pens: we recommend play pens for families with babies who have older siblings or dogs. Jolly 'SMART' Square Playpen is a good choice.
- Safety gates: also a great idea for families needing to keep little children or dogs out of specific areas and to restrict access to stairs and kitchen areas.
- Latches and locks for doors an draws help keep little people safe from harmful products and tools.
When looking for educational products keep in mind your baby's age and skills.
Suggested reading for Parents:
- Age appropriate play:
‘Slow and steady gets me ready’ by June Oberlander.
'Baby's First Skills' by Dr Miriam Stoppard.
'Baby Play' by Dr Wendy S Masic & Roni Cohen Leiberman.
''Baby Games The Joyful Guide to Child’s Play from Birth to Three Years Old'
by Elaine Martin; Publisher Choice Books, these books are excellent for
ideas and activities for play for children from birth upwards.
- Books related to family, raising children and discipline:
'The Strong Willed Child', 'Bringing up Boys', 'Parenting Isn’t for Cowards', 'Solutions for Burned-Out Parents', 'Dare to Discipline', 'The Wonderful World of Boys', by Dr James Dobson.
'Boundaries with Kids' by Henry Cloud & John Townsend.
'The Five Love Languages of Children' by Gary Chapman.
'Every Parent. A Positive Approach to Children’s Behaviour' by Matthew Sanders. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company Inc.
'Every Parent’s Workbook. A Practical Guide to Positive Parenting' by Matthew Sanders. Behaviour Research and Therapy Centre Department of Psychiatry, The University of Queensland. Australian Academic Press Pty Ltd.
'Your Child’s Self Esteem' by D. Corkille Briggs.
'Babies', 'Toddler Taming' by C. Green Publisher Simon and Schuster.
'Raising Boys', 'The Secret of Happy Children' and 'More Secrets of Happy Children' by Steve Biddoff.
'Touchpoints The Essential Reference. Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioural Development' by T. Berry Brazelton, M.D. Publisher Perseus Books.
'On Becoming Child Wise' by Gary Ezzo and Borber Bucknam, M.D. Multnomah Publishers.
'Preparation for Parenting' Gary and Annemare Ezzo.
'Becoming Better Parents' Maurice Balson Publisher Acer.
'Children are from Heaven' John Gray PhD.'Coping with the Family' Dr John Irvine.
'Working Parents' and 'Tired Parents' Michael Grose are all good reading.
'The How-to of Being a Working Mother' Belinda Henwood. Publisher Angus & Robertson.
- Miscellaneousss reading:
'A Son's Gift' by Peter Dubiez is very inspiring. Click on Peter's name to purchase his book.
'Motherhood: What it does to your mind' Jane Price. Publisher Unwin Hayman.
'Getting Pregnant the Hard Way' by Mikael Svanstrom. A great book to read written from a man's perspective on IVF.
'The Mask of Motherhood' Susan Manushart's. How mothering changes everything and why we pretend it doesn't has also been recommended.
- Recommended reading for topics on reflux, food & allergies:
'Colic Solved The Essential Guide to Infant Reflux' by Dr Bryan Vartabedian
'R is for Reflux a parent's guide to infant reflux' Jennie Croudson (1998) Blaise Publishing.
'Friendly Foods Recipes for Life' Dr A.R. Swain Dr V. L. Soutter Dr R H Loblay Publisher Murdoch Books.
'Fed Up', 'The Failsafe Cookbook' Sue Dengate.
- Marriage & Partners:
'Essentials for Lifelong Intimacy', 'Family man', James Dobson.
'Blueprint for Solid Marriage' Dr Steven Stephens.
'The First Five Years of Marriage' Focus on the Family
Milestones suggested ideas for play and learning:
- Birth to three month: This age group needs black and white or primary colours to attract their attention. Tummy time is very important and needs to be around 60% - 80% of their awake time not including feed time. Look for toys that can be washed easily such as hard plastic or fabric toys that can be thrown into the washing machine. Avoid battery operated soft toys which are difficult to clean. How Important is Tummy Time for Your Baby?
- Three months to nine months: Tummy time is still very important although now baby will be learning to roll from tummy to back. Look for noisy toys such as rattles and toys that baby can grasp. This is a good age to introduce books and the written language. A great tool to use is 'Your Baby Can Read' DVD's and books.
- Nine to twelve months: At this age baby is interested in songs, rhymes and actions, imaginary games, peek-a-boo, and clapping hands, simple ball games and blocks. The Importance of Stories, Songs and Rhymes for Children of all Ages
- Toddlers: A toddler has the skills to hold crayons, pencils and paint brushes, stacking and building games, puzzles and reading.
- Children: By this age children have developed their imagination and play pretend games using dress ups, dolls and boxes to make cubby-houses, cars, obstacle courses. They play chasing and hopping games or activities that may involve the use of scissors, pasting, buttons and bows.
- More Articles on Play and Learning